The following was sent to Gibsons council with an edited copy forwarded to Coast Reporter.
Dear Mayor Rowe and council:
I am writing to record my support for The George Hotel and residences proposal as presented to council on Nov. 12.
Our economy is already stagnating. We are living off the seasonal tourist trade that comes mainly in the summer, which isnít enough for many of our local businesses. We need something to attract that business the rest of the year, as well. This project will do just that. Vancouver is a major convention destination, and itís reasonable to expect some spill over from that. As well, Vancouver businesses are always looking for destinations to hold company retreats or other types of meetings. This could easily be filled by those alone.
I know we are missing out on many overnight tourists in the summer simply because the vast majority of our existing accommodations are B&Bs and not everyone wants to stay in one.†
Iím afraid that if this development doesnít happen, we will not see any further significant proposals for another generation, or longer. Our economy will further decline, and many will have to leave to find work elsewhere.
We will end up a sleepy community of wealthy and retired people ó ideal for some, but certainly not for most.
I could be one who stays, but would I stay in a community solely of wealthy and retired? Not likely. I have small children to think of. That removes one family from paying taxes, buying groceries, pet and gardening supplies, fuel, restaurant meals, supporting community centre(s), local fishers and artisans, and buying other goods from local small businesses ó just one family, but I guarantee there would be many more.
Is that really what this council wants for Gibsons and the surrounding area?† I hope not.
Ryan Medd, Gibsons